Armory Revival Corporation

Past Projects > Octagon House

Octagon House

The house at 68-76 Harrison Street is in a league of its own; well, almost its own… the architectural gem is one of a few hundred octagon houses in the country. Octagons were all the rage in the mid-1800s, swept to popularity in large part by the publication of Orson Squire Fowler’s book “The Octagon House, A Home for All”, in 1853. During their heyday, octagon homes were believed to bring health and happiness to their occupants, and these unique houses sprouted up all around the country. By the 1870s though, this fad was largely over, and the octagon shape became an increasingly rare find amongst homes.

Seeing an opportunity to revive this unique design on a prominent corner lot in the Armory District, The Armory Revival Company, working with architectural designer Edwin Gregory, conceived and built the octagon house at 68-76 Harrison Street in 1988, adding a unique building type to a neighborhood rich with 19th century architecture. A celebration of work to date in the Armory District was held on August 8, 1988 (8-8-88) in the Octagon House while it was still under construction. A grand piano, with its eighty eight keys, was lifted to the second floor of the house, and octopus was served to the contractors, buyers, investors and neighbors who joined the celebration. The unique design struck a chord with history buffs and laymen alike, earning The Armory Revival Company an award from the Providence Preservation Society and the admiration of local residents. TARC succeeded in enlivening the historic neighborhood, while taking a stand in defense of an endangered species – the octagon house.  Armory’s vision has now become Harrison Street’s claim to fame.

The Armory Revival Company

The Armory Revival Company (TARC) has over 30 years of experience in planning, rehabbing and marketing historic buildings in southeastern New England. Founded in 1986 in Providence’s historic Armory District, The Armory Revival Company has been a driving force in the revitalization of Providence’s West Side. We have a passion for historic properties, for interesting design and for creating distinctive places to live and work.


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